Teddo Play is a family-run business that loves to help children to become naturally enthusiastic about learning. They encourage children to gain a life-long interest in acquiring knowledge for their all-round development through their play-based learning methods.
Keisha & Amit Shah, the wife & husband team behind Teddö Play® have created this fabulous concept where they create many varieties of premium play-based educational learning cards to suit children of all ages, needs and passions. They are both very passionate about all things learning and education in a playful environment that gives children the time and space to absorb new information all while having a great time, making them naturally wanting to learn.
All of Teddo Play‘s theme-based learning sets are made in the UK from start to finish. They contain numerous super sturdy visual learning cards featuring real-life high-definition imagery, facts and information to support children in their cognitive development, help strengthen observational skills in them, make them better and confident communicators and more broadly, contribute significantly to children’s overall intellectual development.
Can you tell us about Teddo Play and why you’ve chosen to create this wonderful range of multi-purpose play-based educational learning cards for children?
We launched Teddö Play at a UK National Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham late last year and were totally blown away by the response we got from parents, grandparents, professionals in the education field and mainly teachers and private tutors who showed so much love and appreciation for our products. With so many preschool and primary school teachers referring to our learning cards as a ‘very powerful teaching and learning aid’, we came out feeling very humbled and emotional and so happy that we have been able to create something that can be of such high value for children.
I have had a very long background in teaching and training children and adults alike, right from when I was 18 years old. I am nearly 33 now and have had a fabulous career in the corporate world alongside being an independent professional. With the arrival of our little man two and a half years ago, life changed and my priorities shifted as a Mum.
My husband and I, we’re both the geeky-nerdy types always learning and researching to be able to add more value to our lives and to that of those around us. Being first-time parents, we consumed so much content during my pregnancy. During one of those research sprees, we came across this staggering statistics that in the entire human lifespan, birth to age 3 sees the fastest rate of brain development – from about 25% of the size of the average adult brain to a whopping 80% by age 3 and 90%, i.e., nearly fully grown, by age 5. We have since been determined to put in all the necessary efforts to make these crucial early years as rich in play, learning, experiences and development as we can for our little one.
As we made progress with our own child, the next mission became to create a product that would support other parents in making a significant positive impact on their children’s early years learning and development.
Teddö Play was thus born after over a year and a half of rigorous toil and prep, all alongside our little one who we have decided to keep away from any sort of nurseries, day-cares, childminders, etc. So yes, life has been incredibly hectic as young parents and also as individuals wearing all the possible hats in our new business. This project has taken a long time to come to fruition but we’re very happy that our learning products are now contributing positively to children’s intellectual development everywhere.
Why do you believe that your ingenious educational learning cards will play an integral role in early-stage development and how are you encouraging other parents to integrate Teddo Play into their children’s play?
Personally, my teaching methods are very interactive and full of enthusiasm. I believe that when you create a memorable experience for children when teaching them anything at all, they are more likely to remember it, it helps create a powerful long-term memory in them.
I have myself designed every single one of our learning cards and made sure that each one will encourage many conversations, fun actions, noises, role-plays, memories, powerful discussions and of course all sorts of activities like identification, sorting, categorising, matching, stacking, you name it. When children will gain the required information on a subject covered on the learning cards, they will have a variety of experiences to relate this subject to. This, in turn, will help them to properly remember and retain the knowledge they have gained – all whilst having fun and without any pressure whatsoever on their brains. I have always practised and preached teaching and learning through play. It helps create experiences for children which help them learn faster and better with lasting attention and memory.
Parental play and engagement are at the core of our products. We passionately encourage parents to get involved, to sit down with their children and talk, just simply talk. It helps children tremendously in their development. It also makes them much more loving and affectionate individuals in life, which is simply the most precious treasure every parent would like to cherish as they grow older. Our learning sets are all massive packs with numerous cards covering numerous themes and topics in each set. There’s so much to learn and with so many prompts, both parents and children will have a lot to talk about every time they sit down to play.
We have also very carefully thought out all our play-and-learn cards to make sure they are suitable for children of all ages – from as young as infants & toddlers to pre-schoolers all the way to young teens and adolescents. The cards will also grow with children and can be used alongside siblings and children of different ages. Parents, family, teachers, carers will all have so many possibilities of adapting their lessons, games and activities to suit their child’s/children’s growth while still using the same set of learning cards for a long time.
There’s so much useful information in every set that even adults are sure to learn something new with us. Our Teddo Play learning cards also double as educational playing cards and make family game-time even more challenging and exciting!
All of this will lay a solid foundation for our children, one that will make them naturally keen to learn more, to gain more knowledge and become self-driven. Instilling this natural desire to explore and learn in our children through our learning resources has always been our primary focus.
Can you explain the setup process, any market research prior to launch and how the company is funded?
We’re a family-run business and are entirely self-funded. We’ve gone from concept to design to manufacturing and packaging all based on our own research, knowledge and learning along the way.
Do you have any current mentors? If so, what are the benefits of having one and are you also open to mentoring others looking to pursue the same career avenue as you?
The mentors I would say are my parents and my husband. They are all always very supportive of my highly ambitious nature and are the ones who keep bringing me water and nuts when I am working away most nights! Once the business establishes and can afford it, our first investment will be in a professional business mentor who can help us take our business to the next level and help make a huge positive impact on the intellectual development of children around the world.
As a start-up, how will you look at challenging/competing with bigger brands such as Orchard Toys, Fisherprice, Leapfrog?
We’re really proud of what we have created and the feedback we have received from every single customer has helped infuse a great deal of confidence in the quality of our products.
Our learning cards are way different from the ordinary flashcards on the market, nearly 10 times thicker and sturdier, each set includes a 30-page physical play guide/booklet with numerous ideas and suggestions of activities and lessons to achieve from every single set, a fantastic premium magnetic storage box, numerous learning cards in each set – 4 times more than ordinary packs, a plethora of subjects covered and invaluable knowledge gained from every set, the list goes on.
The high-quality of our products speaks for itself – from concept to design to manufacturing to packaging and labelling, we’re entirely and proudly made in the UK.
Our customers love the tremendous value they get from us and our learning products and we’ll continue doing just that. These are educational materials after all and we want children to get the most value and knowledge from every product they purchase from us.
What platforms are you using as marketing tools to promote Teddo Play?
It’s all been word-of-mouth so far, which we are truly grateful for. As a small business, the honest reviews and recommendations from our customers mean so much to us and our business. We’re also building a community online by generating a presence for our brand on social media.
Do you currently use any apps or tools to help the functionality of Teddo Play?
I do use some apps like Canva for creating content for Instagram, the repost app for sharing user-generated content for our products and of course the Wix app where I have created our website. It’s such a fabulous platform and for someone with no prior background in design or website development, I think our website looks pretty cool, what do you think?
If you could tell your 18-year old self a solid piece of advice, what would it be?
I would have so very much loved a degree in business. It has always been a fascinating subject for me since my childhood. I started building my career in project management and teaching French, English and Spanish languages right from when I was 18 years old, this alongside pursuing and completing my graduation. I have always been such a hard-worker that reminiscing now, although I feel really happy with my success and achievements and how far I have come, I would have loved to lighten up a little bit back then and enjoy some nights out with friends or simply just have some chill time. I am always juggling a million things and it’s just become my second nature now to continually make sure that my plate is not only full but also overflowing, this does get overwhelming and a bit of self-care and downtime is really (and frequently!) required.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me BeYourOwn means just that – be your very best self, inspire others and be someone that makes a positive difference to our world!
What does 2020 look like for you throughout the rest of the year at Teddo Play? Are you looking to expand, raise growth capital, etc.
What does 2020 look like for you throughout the rest of the year at Teddo Play? Are you looking to expand, raise growth capitol, etc.
We hope to make 2020 an exciting year! We’re only about 3 months old and are so honoured to already be stocking our learning cards at some of the well-known online children’s toy stores and children’s classes. In this short period of time we have also supported Tommy’s children’s charity by fundraising for them alongside other women-owned businesses and also provided numerous welcome packs to the Positive About Down Syndrome charity. The visual aspect in our learning cards has been tremendously helping children with special needs and we are so pleased to be able to do our bit and contribute to children’s growth and well-being through our educational resources.
We hope to be able to reach children across the UK and beyond and are always very keen to hear from charities, nurseries, preschools, schools, private educational institutions, teaching professionals and retail stores to collaborate with.
We have several new themes of learning cards in the pipeline for both younger and older children – from learning about our human anatomy including discovering our physical and skeletal systems in detail featuring the major bones and organs in our bodies to getting completely mesmerised by all the natural wonders around us! From learning all about seasons and weather and building a strong vocabulary for all things nature to feeling in complete awe of the accomplishments of mankind on earth and beyond! We promise to keep both adults and children amazed, & entertained and will make sure that we quench their thirst for knowledge to the best of our abilities.
Let’s make learning fun!
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